Rachael's Reviews > The Whipping Club

The Whipping Club by Deborah Henry
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's review
May 20, 12

Read in May, 2012

It is hard to imagine the pain of being pushed, basically forced, into giving your child up for adoption. It is even harder to imagine the pain felt when you discover that the pleasant life you thought your child was leading couldn't be farther from the reality he is suffering in. Deborah Henry puts her readers right in the midst of that pain, creating characters that you root for and despise and love and hate, sometimes all at once (there were times it was hard to like Marian).

I think a successful work of historical fiction makes the reader want to find out more. The Whipping Club makes me want to read more about the birthing homes, orphanages and Jewish/Catholic/Protestant prejudice in Ireland. I know these things exist elsewhere but the book has specifically sparked my interest in those of Ireland.

As far as the main overall story, I would actually give this book a 5, but I am giving it a 4 because I felt like there were a lot of loose ends in the subplots. I didn't feel like there was strong enough or clear enough resolution in Marian's relationships with her mother-in-law, her daughter, even her husband. I also want to know what happened with the investigation into Surtane, if the Catholics even allowed an actual investigation. Since there doesn't seem to be room for a sequel, an epilogue would have worked well.

*received a free digital copy through netGalley

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